Vikings fall to Houston 27-13, Postgame comments 10 Aug 13

Below are some comments from Vikings players following the teams 27-13 loss to Houston

Minnesota Vikings Wide Receiver Cordarelle Patterson

Q: How did it feel being the first game?

A: It was great to be out here in front of the home crowd. The crowd was all into it even

though it was only a preseason game, and I cannot wait till the regular season and how that

will be.

Q: Do you feel that you got a chance to show the fans what you can do with a couple

of those catches and that return?

A: You have to wait and see. I can’t say that I am going to do this and do that. You know,

then it won’t happen. I can just look at the film, and see all of the mistakes that I had, and

just go off of that.

Q: Does this take a little bit of the pressure off knowing that you can do what you did

out on the field right away?

A: It took a lot of the pressure off. Being out there so long I was kind of tired because I was

so happy to be out there. The first series I was kind of gassed out, but when I got that first

series out of the way I was pretty good.

Q: When you knew the starters weren’t going to be in very long how did that make

you feel knowing you would be getting more playing time?

A: It means a lot to me. Matt Cassel and I were in at the same time, and just building

chemistry between us. The starters only got one series, and coach just told me to get in

there and do what you can, and I got in there and gave it my best.

Q: How much progress do you feel you have made with route running in OTA’s and

training camp?

A: I have come a long ways. I feel it. I had receivers telling me here that you have come a

long ways since OTA’s with your route running but you know me, personally, I feel like there

is a lot more that I can do to get better. I can sink my hips down, and get out of my breaks


Q: People have talked about your impact as a returner, but how important is it to see

your impact as a receiver as well?

A: It is very important. That is my job, and I take every job that I do seriously, and if I can get

some extra touches I will take advantage of them, whether it’s kick return or catching a pass.

Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier

The positive was that we were able to start off the 2013 pre-season with our guys coming out

early on with some energy. The turnovers were definitely not part of the plan and something

we’ll have to take a look at and try to improve on. I thought the energy was there and thought

the guys really came out ready to compete. There are things we have on tape now that we will

be able to go back and evaluate our players and try to do the things that are necessary to try

to improve. The goal is to improve every week that we work toward the regular season. But

there is enough on tape now that we think we have a chance to evaluate the guys and have a

better understanding of where they are.

Q: Do you think Cordarrelle Patterson could have gone all the way on the opening


A: I really thought he was going to go all the way. I looked back and he was trying to make

a cut and lost his footing a little bit. That was a good way to start the game and we were

close to breaking that. It was good to see.

Q: What were your thoughts on his night overall?

A: He made some good plays. Opening kickoff was obviously a good one and so was some

of the catches he made on the inside breaking route and he showed some ability to break

a couple tackles there so that was very encouraging. Something that we can definitely build

on and we can look at the tape and keep trying to help him come along. That was a good

start for him.

Q: How important is it to see Cordarrelle’s receptions?

A: It’s huge because we felt like he had a chance to be a good returner early on and

we weren’t sure how fast he’d come as a receiver but for him to do what he did tonight,

that is going to help his confidence. I’m sure he’ll go back and work even harder to be a

complete receiver and that’s exactly what you want out of a rookie playing wide receiver in

our league. He’s going to be hungry coming back, we’ve just got to keep feeding him and

helping him to grow.

Q: Was there a temptation to send Christian Ponder out there for a second series?

A: There was a temptation but I had to remind myself of why we were going to go one series

and we talked about whether it was two plays, three plays, or ten plays and we will have

some more opportunities get out a lot more work but we really need to look at some other

guys and find out who’s going to be able to help out our football team and we’ll have time to

evaluate our ones in the next couple of weeks but we need to evaluate some people on this


Q: Is there anything at all you can take from the two plays?

A: Yes. There will be some things we can take a look at and be able to talk about and

improve on.

Q: How is Sharrif Floyd?

A: He should be fine. We decided we couldn’t put him back in the game because of where

we were at this time of the year, that we wouldn’t do it, but he should be fine.

Q: What did you think of the play by Zach Line and his performance tonight?

A: That was quite a run by Zach. He broke some tackles and he was a good runner coming

out of SMU, that was one of the positives about him. Now being a fullback, we want to be

able to see him block a little bit more. We always knew he had the ability to run the football

but that was an exceptional run. He showed an open field running ability, the ability to catch

the football, so that was encouraging. Now we just have to keep working with him as a lead

blocker and see if he can fulfill that role as well. It was a great run, a good finish by Stephen

Burton as well. I thought the block by Steve really made a difference and overall it seemed

like Steve did some good things in this ball game.

Q: How are Jarius Wright and Greg Childs doing?

A: I think Jarius is doing well. He got a few snaps tonight, Jarius did well. He’s had a good

training camp up to this point. Greg Childs, he’s still on the Physically Unable to Perform

list so we’re still working with him and trying to get him back on the field. They’re both doing

what they can do right now to help our team.

Q: What are your thoughts on Matt Cassel? He seemed like he picked it up after a

little bit of a rough start.

A: Yeah, he got a little bit more consistent. You could tell that he was a little rusty and part

of that is learning a new offense and a new system all the way around and getting familiar

with our personnel. He got in a rhythm and it seemed like he did some good things as far

as moving our team, taking command of the offense; so those were some encouraging

moments for him. The turnover, that’s something we’ll have to take a look at and see how

we can improve on that, but I thought he did some good things.

Q: Did you want to concentrate on the passing game in the first half?

A: Yeah, that was part of the focus. We want to work the passing game some this

preseason and we’ll take a similar approach probably next week as well. We’re going to still

run the football but we do want to get our timing down in the passing game, we want to be

more efficient in that area, so it will be a point of emphasis again next week.

Q: What did you see on Christian Ponder’s interception?

A: I have to take a look at it. I saw it go off of Jerome Simpson’s hand, I couldn’t tell if the

ball was thrown out in front or where the ball was placed. I’m looking forward to taking a

look at it and see exactly what happened.

Q: Are there any other injury concerns?

A: We came out pretty good, so that should make for a good week of work as we prepare

for our second preseason game. But no, nothing that I’ve heard of at this point so we should

be in pretty good shape.

Q: Who stood out as a back-up in the secondary?

A: I can’t say anybody really stood out. They definitely had some opportunities to tackle and

maybe make some plays, maybe we didn’t make enough plays, I can’t really remember us

getting our hands on a lot of balls. We’ll take a look at the tape and see what the guys did or

didn’t do and see if we can help them improve, but they got a lot work which is good.

Q: How did Michael Mauti do taking over that third team defense?

A: He seemed like he was in control and had a good feel for what we were trying to get

accomplished. There were a couple of times he was a little it out of position but you kind of

expect that, especially coming off the injury rehab and seeing live action. We’ll take a look

at the tape and see what he did or didn’t do well enough for us. Just from the sidelines, it

seemed like he made enough strides that he’s the guy you want to continue to take a look


Minnesota Vikings Quarterback Matt Cassel

Q: How does it feel to be in Minnesota?

A: It’s been amazing here. The fans have been amazing here, especially down in Mankato.

It’s been great. It’s been refreshing, and a new start was exactly what my family and I

needed. I am excited to be part of the Viking family.

Q: Do you feel that you’re pretty comfortable in the offense?

A: I have a comfort level, there is no doubt. But every time you get out there on the football

field there is a learning experience. Obviously, there are a lot of things where we will watch

the film and I will need to clean up, and we will need to clean up collectively as a group.

That is why we do preseason, so we can get some of those rough spots out of the way, and

clean up your footwork and your reads with everything else. Every time you go out on the

field it is a learning experience. Tonight was the first step in getting ready for the regular


Q: That was a nice play by Zach Line with that catch and run there.

A: That was the best touchdown pass I have ever thrown…threw that little flat route and

Stephen Burton did an outstanding job blocking down field. That is all that we can ask is a

second effort and for those guys to make plays.

Q: How about the catch and run for Stephen Burton. Was he the second option on

that play?

A: Right, I was trying to keep that backer from getting depth underneath him. He did an

outstanding job. That guy was kind of draped on him, and he broke through. He has had an

outstanding camp, and he continues to improve each and every day. Today was a step in

the right direction, and it was an outstanding night for him, play in and play out, including

special teams. He just has to keep working, and we all do.

Q: Being new, how does it help getting some game time experience?

A: It is huge. With the little nuances of any offense and the details of it, anytime you are in

practice you’re are just getting three reps here and three reps there. But in a live situation,

when the bullets are flying and the plays are coming in, you need to get to the huddle,

and get to the line of scrimmage, and go. There is no substitute for that, and that is why

preseason is so pivotal for the guys that are going to be the backups and not play that much

during the regular season.

Q: What kind of progress have you seen out of Cordarrelle Patterson?

A: He has done a tremendous job. He comes out to practice each and every day, works

hard, and he made some plays tonight. Again he is a big talented kid, and I am sure that he

will be the first one to tell you that he has a long ways to go. But again, any time those guys

can get on the field, and we can get some playing time together, and some experience in

this offense, it is invaluable.

Minnesota Vikings Defensive Tackle Sharrif Floyd

Q: Any difference between this and college?

A: The only real difference between this and college is the speed and two-a-days.

Q: How did you think you did?

A: I want to improve everywhere, not just in one place. I want to keep sticking to what I do

every day and try to get better. I just want to get back and watch film and work to get better.

Q: Were you nervous tonight?

A: No, not at all.

Q. Are Jared Allen and Kevin Williams helping you?

A. Yeah, they are helping me a lot every day.

Minnesota Vikings Fullback Zach Line

Q: How invaluable was this playing time?

A: You want this time right now. I think Jerome (Felton) played about two series and I had

the rest of the game. I was a little bit tired. I got a good little workout in there, got to play

some special teams too. That’s what you want at this time in your career. You want to get

on film, you want to earn the respect from your teammates and your coaches and hopefully

I did a little bit of that tonight.

Q: When you were in the open field did it take you back to your college days of

playing halfback?

A: I’m not the best open field runner, but it worked out. You never know what’s going to

happen in the open field. Fortunately it worked out the right way.

Q: What did you see when the play unfolded?

A: When I came out of the backfield I saw that it was pretty wide open. I knew they were

going to float over the top and that’s when I saw (Stephen) Burton coming over and making

a nice block for me. He made it nice and easy for me to get down the field. Seriously, it was

like a chariot right down the sidelines until the very end.

Q: Was that kind of a dream come true for you to score the first time you touched the


A: It definitely gets the jitters out of the way. There is a lot left in the dream. You want to

have a long and successful career and you want to win championships and help your

teammates win some games. Personal stats are great but I want those to add up to wins for

this team.

Q: What was the first thing that crossed your mind when you crossed the endzone?

A: It was loud, it was pretty exciting. I heard all of the noise and excitement. I tried to spike

the ball but I think I was too tired. I was pumped. All of my teammates were there and they

were pumping me up and cheering me on, and then going to the sidelines was chaos also

but it was a good experience.